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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Nifty Fifty Focus Problems...Ive been using my nifty fifty recently and noticed that the photo's were a bit soft , so I set ...
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Old 16-07-2008, 21:41   #1 (permalink)
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Nifty Fifty Focus Problems

Ive been using my nifty fifty recently and noticed that the photo's were a bit soft , so I set the camera up on the tripod and began trying to find out where the problem lay, as it turns out it would appear that the focus isnt exactly the same for each shot, I took one at f1.8 which was as it should be, then I took one at f2 and that was fine too so I went back to f1.8 and the focus was way off, It was a bit like someone had put cling film over the lens , I tried this several times and it was hit and miss as to the focus being spot on , there is no probs with other f stops and I tried fine tuning the focus but to no avail, does anyone have any Ideas as to what the problem could be ??
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Old 16-07-2008, 22:05   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Nifty Fifty Focus Problems

Focusing is more critical at wide apertures because the depth of field is very small. At smaller apertures the focusing can be slightly out and you won't necessarily notice it because of the greater DoF. However, there's very little difference between f/1.8 and f/2, so that doesn't really explain it.

What have you been focusing on for the tests? Autofocus is based on contrast detection, so it won't always get it right if there isn't a reasonable range of tones in the image at the focus point. Another thing is that the focus point itself may be rather larger than the little rectangle in the viewfinder, so the camera may not be focusing on exactly what you want it to.

The lens will be slightly softer wide open than stopped down a little. Can it produce a sharp image at f/1.8 if you focus manually? (I guess so if it sometimes gets it right with AF.)

Try a more contrasty subject and see if that makes any difference.
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Old 17-07-2008, 18:46   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Nifty Fifty Focus Problems

Thanks Silky , I will sort another test subject out and see how I get on, I was using the neck of my Guitar as one subject then I moved on to the barrel and numbers on one of my other lenses, I will let you know how i get on, Thanks again.
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Old 17-07-2008, 20:16   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Nifty Fifty Focus Problems

What focus mode are you using (eg. central / dynamic etc ?). I used centre spot metering & focusing with the Nikon 50mm wide open & found it to be very acurate. I would place the subject point I wanted in focus in centre of frame, lock AE/AF & then recompose shot.
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Old 19-07-2008, 18:19   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Nifty Fifty Focus Problems

If you are trying to test the lens and not the camera then you should be using manual focus, tripod and remote shutter release. Set everything up manually and test at the different F stops, the only variable then is the lens. If the results are consistent then its unlikely to be a lens issue.
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Old 19-07-2008, 19:07   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Nifty Fifty Focus Problems

Thanks guys I think Silky hit the nail on the head with the contrast, I've now tried it on several other more contrasty subjects and it seams to be working fine
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